Michael Hough’s November 2018 Classic TF Registrar Report

Read on for all the news in the Classic TF Register for November, 2018, with thanks to Michael Hough.

November 2018 Classic TF Registrar’s Report

by Michael Hough / Images Michael Hough

Welcome to another month of interest in MG-related motoring!

In the November, 2018 Classic TF Registrar’s report, I want to provide a very subjective report on the 2018 All British Day at Kings School, focusing on the Classic TFs that turned up, and publish a story by Phil Clarke, one of our newest Classic TF owners, on the advantages of a Classic TF with the UK five-speed gearbox conversion.

The Classic TF register’s big run for the second half of 2018 will be on Sunday the 21st of October to the MG Car Club’s 2018 concours d’elegance and display day.

I am writing before the big day so that I can get this to you in time for the November magazine, so my report on the event will follow in the December edition of the magazine. I do hope that the weather was fine and we had a great turnout.

This month, I’ll share a few photographs from All British Day Sydney, which I chose to attend in my ‘other’ car – a 1962 Jaguar Mk 2 3.8-litre manual overdrive saloon. The photos provide a very subjective look back at the day, and mostly focus on the Classic TFs that joined us for the club display.

Next, I’d like to share a story by Phil Clarke. Last year Phil, who lives in the Riverina region of NSW, attended our 2017 Display Day as he was looking for a Classic TF. Following the event, he and I continued a dialogue over email about buying one of these great little sports cars.

Phil eventually found a car in Tasmania that had already been fitted with one of the UK five-speed conversion kits I’ve mentioned in previous editions of the magazine. At the time I encouraged him to see this as a positive, and am pleased to now share a report from Phil about his experience with the kit.

Running a Classic TF with a Five-Speed Gearbox: A Classic TF Owner’s Story

By, and thanks to, Phil Clarke.

I acquired my 1954 TF 1250 in December, 2017.

The previous owner had purchased and imported a Ford Sierra five-speed gearbox from High Gear UK, which came as a complete kit with various bits and pieces, brake lines etc., ready to be installed. He was able to install it himself and the finished job is neat and tidy – without looking from underneath or going for a drive you would not detect any modifications.

One thing that did not come with the kit was a reduction gear for the speedo and odometer. I use a GPS speedo which sits nicely in front of the steering wheel and is in fact more convenient than the original speedo in the centre console.

Together my little TF and I have only travelled about 1000 kilometers since purchase. Half of that was across Tasmania – around Hobart, to Launceston, around the hilly country of the Tamar Valley and on to Devenport. The other 500 kilometers have been city, town and fairly flat countryside driving.

The gearbox has performed beautifully. It produces nice, clean changes. There is no sloppiness or jumping out of gear.

The ratios have been suitable for all roads encountered so far. In top gear we do close to 25kph/1000 rpm i.e. 100 kilometers an hour at 4000 revs, which compares well to the same at 5000 revs on the original box. Fourth gear is around 20 kph/1000, which is much the same as the original. I haven’t clocked the other gears. Naturally, you will need to perform a little more gear work on the hills, but that is a minor inconvenience.

Having this five-speed is great and it has been a very worthwhile modification. From what I have heard, the UK kits are much superior to other options. My advice to anyone considering the change is to stop thinking, order a complete UK kit and just do it.

Phil Clarke

Huge thanks to Phil for sharing the article. It is always a pleasure when someone writes in to share their experience about the options and challenges of owning these lovely little classic sports cars. Well done mate!

With that, I leave you for another month. Happy motoring!

Michael Hough,
Classic TF Registrar

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